21 June 2018

Traveling with Pets 2018: Questions and Answers

Part 6 of 6 Audience members ask panel members various questions associated with the presentation.


MAUREEN JOHNSTON: All right, let's have a question here. Yes, in the very back, last row. AUDIENCE MEMBER: What happens if your pet gets stranded in transit? Say the weather changes, or there's technical difficulties, and you can connect, keep going, but your pet can't? How many Foreign Service officers have had that happen in the past? And then how do we deal with it? Do we stay with the pet, or does the pet follow later? MS. JOHNSTON: Who wants the answer that? And just repeat the question for the - go ahead. It's Gregg. What's the question, Gregg? GREGG PITTELKOW: So the question is: What happens if your pet gets stranded at a transit point, for a variety of issues. It could be weather, it could be mechanical, it could be anything. I would recommend, if your pet is traveling as baggage, that you try to stay with the pet, if the airline will allow you to stay, and move you to another connecting flight. If that's not possible, then the airline is going to have to care for your pet during that layover. So it'll be in a bag room; it might be in the cargo facility. It's not going to be sitting outside, you know, unattended. But a lot of these flights are only one flight a day. So it may be spending overnight in his kennel. That's where the food comes in handy. And it will go out and meet you on the following day. So it's really hard to say. But I would recommend that, if possible,

you try to stay with your pet. MS. JOHNSTON: And I don't know what's happened now, but in the past, there were a number of airlines that would accommodate and let you rebook if possible, because of that issue. OK. And if you have to - hope that it's going to be something like Frankfurt or Amsterdam, because they have great pet centers. OK. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Dr. Bowers, in terms of the 10 days before, five days before, or whatever days before - I'm a 10-day. Thankfully not a five-day. Is the day that you fly day one or day zero? DR. KATE BOWERS: So, day one is the day that it's issued by your accredited veterinarian. So the day they sign it and date it, that's when the clock starts. You have 10 days to get to your country of destination. So that's the 10 days. And that's a - it raises a good point. For some countries that require within a certain number of days, or even hours, some countries do not. Those that do not, we kind of default to a 30-day validation period. So within 30 days, your accredited veterinarian has signed the certificate; we endorse it, and then travel. Airlines can add an additional restriction to that. Airlines can say, "Even though the EU gives you 10 days, we'll give you five." So check with the country you're going to, and then also check with the airline on how long

certificates are valid for. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So it's the day that we land in the destination country, not the day that we leave for the destination country? DR. BOWERS: Usually, it's - they want it to be when you arrive, but the day of departure has been accepted, also, as long as you can show on your airline ticket, "I left on the 10th," you should be fine. MR. PITTELKOW: I would exercise caution in that. Like, if you're going to the South Pacific, you're going to arrive two days after you leave. DR. BOWERS: Don't push it if you can. MR. PITTELKOW: Don't push your luck. [LAUGHING] DR. BOWERS: Yeah. MR. ROLLINS: Exactly. MS. JOHNSTON: OK. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Could you explain a little more about the travel time? So if there's a direct flight from D.C. to China that's the contract carrier, which is United. And they don't have layover. What do you do? The contract carrier - I know their contract carrier is United, I know it's a direct flight from Dulles. It's a 14-hour flight. MS. JOHNSTON: Well, United did not have a time restriction before. It was Delta and American. We - AUDIENCE MEMBER: I assume that they're gonna have one. So is there an exception in case it's more than - MARK DELLINGER: Test. OK. So, a couple of things there. First of all, if you could use United in this fiscal year to

take your pets - there are other ways - most carriers - it is nonstop from Dulles to Beijing. But you know they have a hub in Houston, they have one in Chicago, they have one in San Francisco, Newark. So that same contract fare is also - can be applied across those routes as well. So if one of those breaks it up to where it's less than the amount of time, then that's fine. So that's one option that you can have in some situations. It won't work in this situation, because it's United. But you are able to use a non-contract carrier - as I was mentioning earlier - with a non-contract government fare that maybe breaks it up over L.A. or Boston or something like that. So did that answer your question? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.[INAUDIBLE] go through the exception. MR. DELLINGER: Right. AUDIENCE MEMBER: For exemptions. MR. DELLINGER: Right, right. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Instead of the long distance [INAUDIBLE]. MR. DELLINGER: Right. MS. JOHNSTON: Thanks, Mark. Yes, sir? AUDIENCE MEMBER: So this question's for Bob. We have a little bit of a concern because we're gonna have to use a 700 crate for our dogs. He's an Italian Mastiff. So he needs it. So there is no [INAUDIBLE] in Bosnia; there is no direct flight there. So how would we connect with the airline to check that the crate

is gonna be able to fit on a plane that is going to be going from, say, Vienna to Sarajevo? BOB ROLLINS: OK, so you want to find your final airline that's coming from Vienna. AUDIENCE MEMBER: OK. MR. ROLLINS: You should call them up and ask them, "I have a crate that's 35 inches tall, or 40 inches tall. Will you take it on your plane?" So they'll let you know. AUDIENCE MEMBER: All right. MS. JOHNSTON: So what if they don't? Say, say somebody is going to hire you, and you've got the task of getting a pet from here to Sarajevo with a 700 crate. What do you do? MR. ROLLINS: We start calling the different airlines to find which ones fly into there from different points in the world that we can get to. And if you can find one that has a plane big enough, then you book it on that one. You might need to use a second pet shipper if you don't have an airline that flies both routes, or you may have to fly it to the next closest place, and have it driven from point A to point B. MS. JOHNSTON: Right. I was thinking, I've known pet owners who've had to have - hire somebody to have it driven part of the way. But I've seen some of the routes that Bob's selected over the years, and he's picked very safe air carriers. But it wouldn't have been what you would have thought, but the issue was, he got them there safely. He may have had to take them to Amsterdam, or Frankfurt,

and that wouldn't have been the most direct, but it did the job. MR. ROLLINS: Yeah, one time we were shipping a pet to Peru, and couldn't get any carrier to fly from IAD to Peru that would work, so we used Lufthansa, shipped it to Frankfurt. He spent a day there in Frankfurt, and then flew down. They tend to not do that if they can help it. But there's always a way. AUDIENCE MEMBER: So follow up question: [INAUDIBLE] would be required, so would it be possible then to just fly to, let's say, Croatia, which is very close - and there are direct flights to Zagreb - and then drive from Zagreb to Sarajevo? MR. DELLINGER: Yeah, you can do that. That's essentially a cost construct. Yeah, that's allowable. AUDIENCE MEMBER: OK. Perfect. Thank you. MS. JOHNSTON: OK, yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a question for Mark and Kate. For the agreement between the EU and the U.S., is it only if you're flying into an EU country, or as long as you can get an EU carrier? MR. DELLINGER: So the question was, for invoking the U.S./EU Open Skies Agreement, is it for flying into a country or, flying - say that again, sorry. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Or using EU carrier. MR. DELLINGER: Or just using an EU carrier. Basically, the rule is, if you are originating in, transiting, or terminating in an EU member nation - so in most cases, you're flying from someplace in Africa, or NEA,

SCA or EUR into the U.S., and that leg over the water is the one that you're using on an EU carrier. So does that answer the question? OK. There is a very little known thing that you can apply there, where British Airways might have an American code share that they, or that they operate from London to Miami, and then carry on that British flight from Miami to Tegucigalpa. And that would also apply, too, because it originally - it originated in London. But you almost never see that really invoked. But - AUDIENCE MEMBER: And Kate, for the $120, does it include an exam? Do you mean like if you have to have a [INAUDIBLE] exam? DR. BOWERS: Yes. The $121 cost is the minimum charge for a health certificate that requires at least one to two tests. It goes up if it's three or more tests, and it goes up the number of animals that are on the certificate. So if it has at least one - and that covers the rabies titer. Rabies vaccination does not count as a test. That would be the $38 base rate. Sure. MS. JOHNSTON: OK. Well, I'm going to stop for just a second. I know several of you still have questions. It's 8:30, and before anybody moves, all of our panelists are going to stay, and you can personally come up and speak with them. But for those of you who may have young children or pets at home, [LAUGHTER] I want to thank you for coming out,

and I want us to give this great set of panelists - [APPLAUSE] - they really, they know their stuff. And honestly, I couldn't help you as much as I do if I didn't have them to help me. So thank you again. And thanks for coming. And they will all stay here now. [MUSIC PLAYING]